Thursday 21 July 2011

Four new servants of God

Congratulations to the four new canons of the  Institut du Christ-Roi Souverain Prêtre. As any regular reader of this blog will have noticed, we're a sort of  unofficial fan-club of the order. I was delighted to see a link on Fr Ray Blake's blog to some splendid photographs of the ordination at  the church of San Michele e Gaetano in Florence, on 7th July this year - solemn, splendid, and sacred. Just right.

Set 1 - photos from the floor
Set 2 - photos from the balcony

Currently in the combox for Fr. Ray's post about the ordination photos there's a majority saying "ugh! it's so over the top. Why so fancy? Why the lace? Surely there's a middle way." To these people I say: judge them by their fruits.

The ICRSP have a steady stream of vocations for the priesthood and of women to the religious life. Their parishes are so demographically healthy that anyone much over 40 will be at the top end of the age bell-curve. They run excellent schools, academically and doctrinally rigorous, educating children in the Faith. They run orthodox Catholic summer camps for boys and girls, and traditional Catholic scout groups. In short, they are a massive success story. So why the nay-saying? Moreover, the four young men in these pictures are doing something of such magnitude and importance that the mind boggles. They are becoming consecrated servants of God. They will hear our confessions, baptise our babies, anoint our sick bodies, and feed our souls with the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ transubstantiated in their consecrated hands. They have left the world behind in order to serve Our Lord and to serve us. While there are photographs of family and friends with this year's ordinands, it not always the case that a new priest will have anyone  to support him at his ordination: priests come from all backgrounds, and in a secular society this may mean that they've had to endure hostility and even rejection from family (and/or friends) to get to their ordination day. This is not idle speculation, I know more than one priest for whom this is the case and for whom following Christ has meant leaving his family behind. Bearing all of this in mind, is it not a bit churlish to begrudge a bit of high ceremony on a day of such magnitude in a young man's life?

Besides, I defy anyone to remain dry-eyed looking at the photographs of the family and friends' blessings (page 10 on this set of photos).

Please pray for these four young priests, and all their brother priests, that God may strengthen them and help them always in their vocation.

God bless the ICRSP! God bless all of our priests!

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